Campus Celebrity: Laura Fedy

Meet Laura Fedy, an exemplary Wilfrid Laurier student that, along with her research team, has put Laurier in the newspaper for making crucial and ground-breaking improvements in concussion safety. Laura, along with Professor Michael Cinelli and other student researchers, are developing a group of tests that can better determine when an athlete can safely return to play after a brain injury. While the research team continues their efforts, Fedy has taken efforts to the streets. As the Chapter Director of Team Up Against Concussions Laurier, the group focuses on educating local youth sports teams and schools about concussions. This Laurier student is the epitome of an over-achiever, and her big heart and determination to make a difference in the world top the charts.

See the rest of the report on Fedy and the team’s newsworthy actions here!

Name: Laura Fedy

Age: 21

Year: 4th

Relationship Status: Taken by Kyle-Patrick

Program: Kinesiology and Physical Education

Job: Movati Athletic

 

What is a day in the life of Laura Fedy?

A day in the life consists of school, and more school! I have a pretty heavy course load, especially with my thesis, so I spend a lot of time doing homework. I also work at a gym called Movati Athletic, so I am either working or working out almost every day. Aside from all that, you can always find me eating (who doesn’t love food) and hanging out with my family and friends.

What extra curriculars or groups are you involved in here at Laurier?

I am the Chapter Director of Team Up Against Concussions Laurier, which is a group that focuses on education and community outreach regarding concussions. I am also doing my KP490 undergraduate thesis on concussion recovery and balance control issues with some of the female varsity athletes at Laurier.

What is a concussion? What got you involved in concussion awareness?

A concussion is an injury to the brain from rapid acceleration and deceleration of brain tissue with the skull. Think of it like jello in a bowl. This rapid movement causes the “jello” or brain tissue to change shape, which can stretch and damage brain cells. This damage also causes chemical and metabolic changes within the brain, making it more difficult for the brain to function. I got involved through the previous chapter director of Team Up Laurier recruiting me and I fell in love ever since. 

Why the focus on concussions?

Concussions are described as “invisible injuries”. By this, I mean there is no physical medical means to diagnose a concussion. Really, the only way to diagnose them is through symptoms the individual states. It is important that people understand what a concussion is so that they can treat it properly. The person has a huge role in concussion recovery.

What don’t people know about concussions?

Many myths occur about concussions.

❌   Concussions aren’t recoverable

✔️    Concussions are fully recoverable as long as the proper rest and recovery is taken.

❌    Confusion exists about the degree to which a concussion is an injury

✔️    This goes back to what I said about a concussion being an “invisible injury”. You can have a broken arm, and see the broken bone, but when it has to do with your brain, you can’t see the injury, or when it is healed. That is why it is so important to take the time to heal from this injury and not rush the recovery.

❌   Many people think, after you get a concussion, you must wake the person up every few hours to “check” on them

✔️    This is false; the most important way to treat a concussion is rest. Let them rest!

What are some of the different campaigns or promotions you do at Laurier?

The Team Up Laurier group goes to schools and sport teams in the community to do presentations and educate about concussions. As I mentioned, I am completing my thesis on concussions and balance issues, so I am working with varsity athletes here at Laurier to help aid in their concussion recovery process.

What do you hope to accomplish through your work?

I hope to be able to further establish a recovery tool to aid in the recovery of concussions. Concussions are so complex; it is hard to make one test that will monitor all of the aspects that need to heal. I hope my research will add to this complex issue, but simplify the recovery process. By this I mean I hope my recovery balance test will be a simple way to assess how an athlete is healing post-concussion. I also hope to publish my paper and add to the world of research! 

Team Up Laurier is hosting a Concussion Education Symposium here at Laurier on March 5th from 10am-12pm. To learn more about concussions and educate yourself, keep your eye out at the school as the date and location will be posted in the upcoming month, and attend the seminar! Until then, stay safe collegiates xo.